Sabetha Belacoros



Maddie Caffarel


Outline the story …

Sabetha Belacoros, from The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, is a trained thief and con woman, hired by mages to run a campaign in a city election. The opposing party, run by two old friends, one being a former lover. In the scene I took the outfit from, she's gone to a private dinner with her old lover in a hanging basket. She's described wearing "a buttercream gown under a jacket the color of rich dark brandy, and her hair fell loose past her shoulders". Later, she exits by sliding down a rope, skirts billowing around her. She's proudly independent, so the kirtle laces in the front and doesn't need assistance, and not wearing skirt supports in order to move and climb more freely. While the books are set in an alternate world, one with mages and dark alchemy and the remains of alien civilizations, the world and styles described are most closely compared to the latter half of the 1500's, so that's what I based her on. Her home city of Camorr is heavily inspired by Renaissance Venice, and the rest of the city states are very Italian, so in turn I gave her an Italian camicia with vintage lace and matching pearl-trimmed partlet over it, adding a woman's doublet for textural contrast with its structure. The doublet is loosely based on an extant jerkin held by the Met, only closing in front, and with different trim, just a similar fabric.

Outline the construction…

I tried as much as possible to use what I already had, only buying material for the camicia as well as the insertion lace, trims, and the supplies for the Juliet cap. I started work work with my partlet from Margo Anderson's pattern, as I also used her patterns for the kirtle and doublet, reusing old fabric and vintage lace that I sewed down the front and lower edge instead of cutting the strip. The kirtle silk is a crepe that required an extra layer of linen in the bodice to provide a white backing over the natural tan interlining and stiffening. It's still not as stiff as I'd like due to the linen canvas not being treated. Since the silk of the skirt is so light, it needed something to line it, but instead of flatlining it, I made an underskirt from an old sheet so the silk could keep its lightness separate from the underskirt. The doublet body fabric was one yard I had, and it took careful placing to make the pattern pieces fit which resulted in an interesting design placement and direction for the pile. It's also flatlined in linen, with another lining sewn in to cover the reinforcement strips and seams. I bound the upper edges of the sleeves, sewing them in with a contrasting fabric so they're removable later. I used the Lynn McMasters cap pattern, knotting my Juliet cap from only two cord strands. The belt is also handmade by me.




  1. Avatar jessica on March 11, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    One of my favorite characters. Amazing costume!

  2. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 8:42 am

    All the layers are just fabulous! Congratulations on this stunning entry <3

  3. Avatar Hannah on March 12, 2021 at 9:23 am

    The way everything flows together is beautiful, and I wish the jacket was available for purchase; it’s so pretty and looks easy to wear.

  4. Avatar Mandy Pursley on March 14, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    I haven’t read the book, but you really brought the character to life! I especially love the thoughtfulness in the details to make her an independent woman. Everything turned out beautifully!

  5. Kayren McKnight Kayren McKnight on March 14, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    So beautiful – I love how all the pieces go together.

  6. Avatar Carly Van Groeningen on March 19, 2021 at 11:32 am

    What a fantastic interpretation of Sabetha, I love it!!! Beautifully done!

  7. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 25, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    I love the renaissance style and would definitely love to wear a shirt with that dramatic collar and those gorgeous puffed sleeves! Such a stylish outfit, the colours go so well together and the bodice has such a great shape, and I love the addition of the gold chain as a belt, SO BEAUTIFUL!

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